How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?

By Tim Kornprobst and Anna Schwachula

Ever since development cooperation began in the 1950s, it has fallen under suspicion of upholding colonial conditions. Proponents of post-development theories therefore stress that the concept of development cooperation is problematic in the way it divides the world into “developed” countries on the one hand and “less developed” countries on the other, as this is considered to represent a Western, capitalist paradigm. In the eyes of critics, this bifurcation serves to perpetuate a colonial power structure in which experts from the global North recommend solutions to societies of the global South they consider to be “backwards”. Continue reading “How Can Development Cooperation Be More Sensitive To Power Relations?”

The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?

By Tanja Verena Matheis and Adrian Schlegel

Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the reorientation of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with regard to international development policy and cooperation has gone almost unnoticed in the media. In the context of their “reform concept 2030”, the policy-makers identify five “megatrends” – demographic change, the shortage of natural resources, climate change, digitalization and interdependencies, and migration, based on which they suggest courses of action. The reform has attracted criticism, especially because of the cancellation of partnerships with countries with material precarity. Is the proposed strategy anywhere near allowing to address persistent socio-economic inequalities that the system of development cooperation claims to alleviate? Continue reading “The 2030 turn in German Development Policy – An Opportunity to Fundamentally Challenge Global Inequalities?”

It is time to abandon “development” goals and demand a post-2030 Utopia

By Julia Schöneberg and Mia Kristin Häckl

These are troubled times. Times of multiple, interrelated crises that bring to the fore the injustices, inequalities, and racisms that are not new, but continue to persist and become increasingly hard to ignore.

The SDGs started off ambitiously and claimed to set a mark for a new era in which all countries would be unified in a universal – shared but differentiated – quest to develop. Much has been critiqued in terms of how the goals are formulated and implemented. Continue reading “It is time to abandon “development” goals and demand a post-2030 Utopia”

Bridging EU- & Postdevelopment Studies: Four Avenues

By Sarah Delputte and Jan Orbie   | EADI/ISS Blog Series

In February 2019, we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones to participate in a panel on “Re-thinking, Re-defining, Re-positioning: “Development” and the Question of “Alternatives”, convened by Julia Schöneberg at the Development Days Conference in Helsinki, in a first attempt to look at EU development policy from a postdevelopment perspective. As scholars studying the EU’s Development Policy we usually try to take a critical approach towards EU Development. However, and perhaps embarrassingly, postdevelopment debates were new to us. Continue reading “Bridging EU- & Postdevelopment Studies: Four Avenues”

‘Justice’ not ‘aid’ for the Global South

By Koen Bogaert, Julie Carlier, Brecht De Smet, Marlies Casier, Dorien Vanden Boer and Bernard Mazijn

Development cooperation does not work. It has never worked. So why not flush the European DG Development down the drain? That was the conclusion of a recent piece published by European researchers Jan Orbie and Sarah Delputte. The danger of this conclusion is that Europe would ignore its historic accountability and the problems it has created. This is why we want to engage with some of the points that our colleagues have touched upon. Where does this idea of Europe needing to ‘develop’ the rest of the world come from? What is left unsaid when we talk about development aid? And what would a post development era look like if we would really listen to voices from the Global South? Continue reading “‘Justice’ not ‘aid’ for the Global South”